Management Tips

What’s one management tool that we can use to avoid becoming a Sleeping Beauty?

Do you exercise regularly?

I try to but the word regularly is usually replaced with the word sporadic. Sporadic regularity. That’s the way. So, any time I do exercise I feel the stress of the work out manifested as soreness in my muscles and joints. I suppose it’s a normal feeling and typically over a few days it subsides. I do notice that over time my muscles start to memorize the repetitive activity and start to adapt to the level of stress I exert on them.

Standard operating procedure.

This past weekend we took a trip up to the cottage to get away from the city, enjoy the Queen’s holiday and spend some time with family. The previous few weeks have been quite busy, a lot of late nights some working some socializing and as a result I was very tired when we arrived at the cottage. Tired is a place I’ve been before and can normally work through the fatigue. No problem. Well, my body took over this time and I was down for the count, quite literally. I don’t think I’ve slept that much in months and its funny how simply ignored that basic need can just turn you into a Sleeping Beauty (er…well…without the beauty part, I suppose).

Unlike my attempts at regular exercise the intense concentrated activity around the past few weeks is not part of my normal routine.

Stress is a funning thing. If I was going to be dramatic I would say it’s kind of like a silent killer.

Recognizing stress is a challenge for most of us. It doesn’t seem like you are actually doing any damage to your body but after the past weekend I do understand how my body responds to my recent and particular type of stress; an acute lack of sleep. It’s not like I haven’t felt or recognized it before and thought with a little training and a little mental toughness I could get it to a point where I could manage it without affecting my performance.

Apparently not so.

Sure, if you have unlimited resources, a very finely tuned diet and a regimented training program you can achieve virtually anything physically for a period of time. For the average person though a prolonged imbalance in physical or mental stress is certainly going to lead to an eventual decline in performance. Every doctor will tell you that exercise and rest are essential to keeping ourselves healthy and the key is to try to maintain a healthy balance between the two.

So, do I feel better after catching up on my sleep?

Sure do but I also know that my busy life is going to catch up with me again. Is it good enough to recharge your batteries once a month or do we need a more regular routine or at least a catalyst to ensure we don’t burn out? Rhetorical yes but if I am asking myself this question then the chances are that some of you out there should be doing the same or are doing the same.

What was it that I said near the beginning of this piece? The silent killer? Well, it is isn’t it? We all push ourselves and usually don’t realize the impact until much later.

So, what’s one thing we can do better to battle this silent killer?

Delegation. No, I can’t delegate staying out late at night with friends or my own exercise routine but I know that the next project, deadline, problem or change is going to come my way very soon. So, just like training my body I will need to accept what comes at me and instead of taking it all on myself delegate what makes sense. The DIY syndrome is how I got there in the first place. Delegation, in itself, will help me to manage my work load better and avoid continually burning the candle at both ends. It will help me to maintain my optimal fighting weight so to speak.

Performance is funny that way and it relates itself directly to the ebb and flow of stress in our lives. Without the ability to delegate or diffuse some of what comes at you simply leaves you in the same position I was in at the beginning of this little story; so tired that the only alternative was hours of prolonged sleep. Most of the daily stress in our lives is not physical but we all know it manifests itself physically and as a result affects us and those around us who care for our well being. It greatly affects our ability to perform effectively.

Some of you may not feel like you have the ability to delegate. We are all in the same place my friends. Even the proverbial CEO is in the same place. There are always things in your life that you cannot get someone else to do and there are those things that you can. It’s really a matter of choice. You need to be able to choose to let things go. Watch them go. Bye bye. Toodles. It’s really hard, huh?

Doesn’t delegation just add more stress to my life?

It’s simpler just to do it yourself and know it got done right and that it’s actually done. Right? It’s a pretty common mantra in cubicle land.

Well, you could look at it this way too.

If you were able to delegate a task to someone else they would get a chance to learn from you and you would have trained someone to do something new. In the future, this may leave you with more time to focus on the tasks that are actually important to you. Is the investment worth it? It certainly seems like it is to me?

Sure, there are a lot of routine tasks that we all do and the case for sharing those is even more relevant. Why do everything yourself? It really comes back to some of the things we write about here on a regular basis; building trust, having an inclusionary attitude and building the ability to communicate well and effectively.

Delegating work is a challenging task in and of itself.

Delegation is not pushing work to another individual and forgetting that it ever existed. When we delegate we need to communicate the requirements, we need to check with our team to ensure they are being successful and we need to follow up to ensure our team has the tools and resources to complete the tasks successfully. We need to be the guide. It will take a bit of time but it is certainly worth the investment. It beats the burn out that ensues when it’s all on you.

Think about the times that it has gone horribly wrong. What happened?

  1. Did you pick the wrong person?
  2. Did you explain the task well?
  3. Did you check in to see how it was going?
  4. Did you follow up to ensure it was completed?
  5. Did you correct course?

These are all investments that you need to make for your future and the future of your team. That’s what it’s all about; the investment. Without it we never grow and without it we get to the point of no return. We lose the ability to become effective. The stress of doing it all yourself is replaced with the short term stress of teaching others how to achieve success. Once they are on their way you can refocus on the work that you need to get done and thereby getting more time to focus on the things that have meaning in your life. A topic for another day.

Let’s face it, you want to learn more, develop new skills and find work that is satisfying, right? So does your team! That’s the beauty of effective delegation.

Everyone wins.

If you don’t believe me, take the lesson from Sleeping Beauty and her helpers. She didn’t do it all by herself either, did she?

  • Do you get enough rest?
  • Does the DIY bug have a hold on you?
  • What are the ways to share your work more effectively?
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About rdopping

interior design guy who loves other stuff; social media, photography, film, food and anything that is good for the growth of the self

Discussion

13 thoughts on “What’s one management tool that we can use to avoid becoming a Sleeping Beauty?

  1. In the flying world, we regularly talk about acute vs. chronic fatigue. Your mind and body can deal with small doses of stress and acute fatigue with a good night’s sleep, but chronic fatigue requires long periods of rest and lifestyle changes.

    I think delegation is a reasonable solution, but nothing can take the place of sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet like you mentioned.

    Great post. The physiology of success is often overlooked.

    Posted by Curtis Marshall | May 22, 2012, 09:25
    • Agreed Curtis. The physiology of success and the psycology of success too! Neither can be overlooked in order to maintain you best level of productivity. The great thing about delegation that’s important here is that delegating can bring you to a place where those necessities of life are easier to achieve and maintain. Great comments. Thanks again for stopping by.

      Posted by rdopping | May 22, 2012, 20:06
  2. This totally resonates with me. Been there, done it. Except I didn’t do the delegation, just do-it-all-yourself-and-collapse. Chronic fatigue is a dangerous thing and can haunt you for quite a long while, without you even realizing that you’ve been doing too much and need to stop. I’ve brought myself in a situation of hysteria after 5 days of no sleep. Better prevent than cure. Thanks Ralph for sending this very important message. I hope you do get some rest and less stressful lifestyle, so we can read more from you.

    Posted by sophiesignin | May 22, 2012, 10:08
    • Thanks a bunch Sophie. Will do on the rest part, for sure. Yep, chronic fatigue is definately very, very difficult to overcome and like anything in it’s extreme takes almost full attention in the opposite direction. It’s amazing the things in life that can be missed dealing with the pendulum swing that occurs in a situation like you described. Thanks for your thoughts, my friend.

      Posted by rdopping | May 22, 2012, 20:10
  3. Great post! I love that you did not just recommend delegating but explained the art of delegation. Ahh! I learned this first hand when I delegated lunch making to my husband last week. How hard could that be? No need to follow up! Clearly he could make a few sandwhiches. That is until I received an email from my son’s teacher. LOL! I think I will save the rest for a blog post because truly I needed your post say last Tuesday. This way I could have implemented the steps in delegation. This hit the spot for me. Thanks!

    Posted by Turn Around and Swim Life | Lessons| Laughter | Love | May 22, 2012, 11:01
    • Very, very funny Tracy. You are hilarious and I hope your husband is ok with being used as fodder for future learning. It’s pretty awesome when we can apply such techniques to the art of sandwich making. Good luck dealing with that one. I, for one, am glad I could help. Just remind him that PB+J is always an easy fix as long as he keeps the PB on the inside…..;-)

      Posted by rdopping | May 22, 2012, 20:14
  4. Amen, brother. Not one single person in the 7 billion+ of us has all the answers – so why pretend we do?

    Of course, you need a leader who’s willing to delegate to start with – but that’s a whole other topic! 😉

    Posted by Danny Brown (@DannyBrown) | May 22, 2012, 22:41
    • Ha, hilarious bro! First off you’re right! Absolutely……I can’t help but wonder if you came by because of my comment on your post about losing subscribers. Whatever, thanks for your insight. I will think a bit about that whole other topic.

      Posted by rdopping | May 22, 2012, 23:03
  5. I have discovered two things about myself: I have to exercise every day and I have to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep. Without those two things, I can perform at my best only two days in a row. But if I do both, I perform at my best, every day. Exercise is a funny thing. Everyone claims they don’t have time. But when you look at it as it relates to how you’re performing, both professionally and personally, it seems like a no-brainer to do it.

    Posted by ginidietrich | May 23, 2012, 11:44
    • Hey Gini, thanks for dropping by. It’s great to see that you found my little corner of the web. What amazes me is the focus that a lot of people have in maintaining their routines. With reading, full time gig, blogging, writing and exercise I find it hard to get enough sleep regularly. I hear you though. It IS critical to take care of the vessel as they say. I need more no-brainers in my life.

      Gracias for your commentitas.

      Posted by rdopping | May 23, 2012, 20:23
  6. This really speaks to me right now, Ralph. I have had SO MUCH in the last 6 months and just keep trudging through that, as of last week, have started to literally shut down. My back went, I got food poisoning and have had a headache for days. And when that happens, you can’t ignore the sound of your body anymore… you just have to stop. This is so timely as I delegated things at work today that I usually love to do because I just had no more brain space for it… and then got so busy with a client request, it was a good thing I delegated: I would not have had time, in retrospect, to do it myself.

    The best delegation of all today, though, is that I asked me Dad to come and do my front and back gardens. So instead of sucking it up myself, my 70 year old Dad schlepped bags of dirt and mulch and motored through a shit job ALL DAY LONG while I was at work! He loved it and I loved coming home to a cedar scented garden, weeded, edged and ready for patio parties! Gotta love that!!

    Here’s to a summer full of time… just time to slow down and smell the mulch!

    Posted by Dayna Bradley | May 23, 2012, 20:57
  7. Dayna. “just time to slow down and smell the mulch”. I friggin’ LOVE that! And I hear you loud and clear. The thing is that you really need to try to make that delegation thing part of your routine if you can and if you have them train those resources to help you.

    Get some rest and charge those batteries lady. We need you around for a long time and the only way to make sure you take care of you. Yeah, I know. Another person that wants you around. Oh, the bruden of the likeable and popular. Take care and thanks for popping by.

    Posted by rdopping | May 23, 2012, 21:07

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